Through my experience working with the children at St. Mary’s I have come to realize the amount of effort needed to work with young children. I found that it was needed to remain animated and positive to capture and keep the students attention. One game that I thought worked particulary well was Stinky Letter Stew. During this game our group was able to keep all of the students active and involved, and from what I saw it looked liked they had a great time. We kept them busy and involved by using props and getting down to their level to encourage them and help them with any problems. Zig Zag Soccer was one game which wasn’t a success. This game was more like a drill used in a soccer practice than a fun game, also our group didn’t have any props which didn’t help. We tried to say active and enthusiastic, but the kids didn’t like the game so it was hard to keep them motivated and many gradually stopped participating.
I liked working with the PRE K program and thought we interacted well with them. I think it was easier to capture their attention, but it was difficult at first trying to get them to understand what we wanted them to do, but after we made some changes and made things more simple things flowed nicely. One of the biggest differences I found working with the younger kids was the difference in motor development, where I could play football catch or basketball with the older kids, I played much simpler with the PRE K kids.
I enjoyed myself working with the students in the cafeteria setting, but I don’t think that those type of fine motor activities should be integrated in Physical Education classes. There are other classes that can work on these skills like Art and Music Classes. I think Physical Education should stay focused on the gross motor skills.
The great amount of energy and emphasis needed to work with young children is the biggest thing I will take away from this experience. I have begun to develop a teaching strategy that revolves around gaining the respect of my students while remaining enthusiastic and motivating, meanwhile asking for the same level of respect from them. This strategy is still very young as am I in my teaching career, so I can only expect that it will grow as I gain more experience.